Whether you’ve just purchased a brand new car or have bought one-second hand, sometimes there are stickers, decals, emblems or badges that you just don’t want on the vehicle. They might look old and a bit tacky, or perhaps you’re mature and they’re a bit boy racer ish. Sometimes the removal is required. Thankfully car manufacturers have caught onto this now with newer car models and thankfully allow for an option to de badge a car if you’re buying a brand new one. For most, when buying a new car, that is generally only the car model badge itself (usually containing the capacity of the engine and series edition) e.g. 330i for a BMW 3 Series 3 Litre Petrol Engine.
Note this article is not a recommendation to do such a task, it is purely for informational purposes only and a theoretical view as to how it could be done. We do not recommend that you attempt to do this yourself. This article is purely to highlight that it is possible to have them removed, not a guide on how to actually do it yourself. We only advise that you take it to the car manufacturer/garage to get this carried out by a professional. DetailingPortal accepts no liability should you attempt to do this and it damages your car/car paintwork etc. You have been warned.
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These are often quite difficult to remove, and people fear for even attempting to remove anything on a car just in case the paintwork underneath is damaged, or revealed. People often think that removing it could even damage it or leave a nightmare sticky residue which is impossible to come off. I understand why even removing some stickers from a traditional product (e.g. barcode sticker on an iPhone Case) can leave you with that sticky residue and the fear of damaging the product leads to you just putting up with it.
We know exactly why people think that. Removing a barcode sticker off of an iPhone case (for example) of $10 is one thing, and removing a sticker of a vehicle that costs thousands of dollars is something else. Even though the strategy is quite simple it can be very challenging and actually damage your paintwork – so go and get a quote from a car dealer instead. Do not try this yourself. It shouldn’t be that expensive, and they are professionals who know exactly how to do this with no damage.
But in theory, how could it be done exactly? How do you remove a sticker or a decal?
By starting with a hairdryer. Some people recommend heat gun but 9/10 times they are far too hot (some can reach well over 400 degrees Celcius!). All we’re attempting to do is heat up the adhesive to make it easier to remove. It’ll probably take 5-10 minutes to get it hot enough to begin to budge.
Once it is hot enough, a plastic pry tool can be used to try to peel it off – if it is too difficult more heat could be required to use the hairdryer again. You would obviously need to be very careful with your paint as you could damage it if you’re not careful. It would require a lot of patience.
If you were successful, I would then suggest using something like CarPro Eraser which contains Isopropanol Alcohol and other ingredients to help protect against it attacking any rubber seals etc. Use that alongside a microfibre cloth and you should be good to go.
Again. In theory, how do you remove an emblem or badge?
These are a bit trickier but can be done similar to a sticker but require a bit more patience. You would need to ensure that the emblem or badge has been stuck on as some manufacturers have template holes within the paint to help secure the badge/emblem and the last thing you want is no emblem and two mini holes where the emblem/badge once was.
You’d then need to use dental floss to essentially ‘cut’ in between the thick adhesive. This could take a long time, longer than a sticker so a huge amount of patience is required – hence why we only recommend getting a professional to have it done for you (car manufacturer/dealer/garage).
Once that has been done, the thick sticky residue would need to be removed and cleaned up with Car Pro Eraser.
Just in case the large notice at the top wasn’t enough – here is another one. Do not attempt to do this yourself, this article is purely informational just to give you an idea of the process – not instructions to actually do it yourself. You can quite easily damage your car doing this. Do not attempt! Take your car to a professional (car dealer/manufacturer/local garage) and get a quote!